Chapter 1: Alexandria, Egypt
As usual, the streets of Alexandria went crowded hours past dawn with travelers, workers, children hurrying to school, and traders calling out on passersby to come patronize their goods.
Isabella Ray, a 5ft brunette American doctor walked into her favorite restaurant located at the beginning of Elms street. A glance at her wristwatch; it was already quarter past eight. She sucked in a breath at wondering how the clock ticked fast against her today.
After settling in a seat besides the window, she placed her order from the menu to the smiling waitress waiting, after which the waitress carried out her duty. In less than five minutes, Ella was served her order, breakfast of coffee and burger.
Half an hour later, done with her breakfast, Ella cleared her bills and darted for the exit so much in hurry she almost forgot her bag.
Outside the restaurant, she made the short walk to St. Luke hospital where she worked, and which stood a stone throw to the restaurant.
Dr. Pasha, her stand-in for last night, handed over to her the patients’ updates, before signing out.
Ella went round for her normal routine inspection. Four patients are to be discharged; she noted and prepared their discharge letters. After the inspection, she went over to her office to counsel the outpatients. About five of them; two children and three adults, were in a critical condition so they got admitted. Luckily enough for Ella before twelve noon, she had rounded off with the outpatients.
Thirsty, she stood and crossed over to the fridge situated by the left corner of her office, adjacent to the door. She picked up a bottle of water, opened and had raised it to her lips when she perceived some noise coming from downstairs.
Quick, she recapped the bottle and placing it on her table, she tracked the noise to the reception only to be shocked to her roots at seeing her colleagues gathered and lying facedown on the floor, surrounded by unknown gunmen. She glanced wildly and spotted the receptionist who apparently was the only one kneeling, with both of her hands high behind her head.
“What’s happening?” Ella directed the question at the receptionist.
“Doc-” the young woman started, but before she could say another word, a gang member struck her hard across the face.
“Keep your mouth shut!” he shouted. “You talk when permitted or–” the man raised his index finger to his neck and made a swift throat-cutting sign.
Again, shock slammed through Ella and she swallowed hard, then she fixed her gaze on the one who had slapped the receptionist. He was 6ft tall, raven-haired and amber eyed. Unlike the rest of the gang that appeared shaggy, he was well groomed and wore a neat long sleeved black shirt to match with a pair of black trousers and boots.
“Hello!” Ella greeted, forcing a smile on her dry lips. “Please, what can I do for you, Mr. errr, Mr. Man?” she asked in a polite tone, trying hard not to give herself away to panic.
“-The name is Reo!” he blurted.
“Well, Mr. Reo, I’m Doctor Isabella Ray. Like I asked earlier, what can I do for you?” she repeated, trying hard to remain calm.
“You can give us some blowjobs, how about that doc?” One of the other five men with one eye interrupted, and the gang all soared in laughter, except Reo.
Ella blushed. She glared at the bastard and wished she could give that son of a b***h a hard sucker-punch that would send him flying up to the ceiling and crashing on the floor, but since she couldn't; she eyed him and sucked in a breath. When Reo raised his hand, there was complete order again.
“We need a doctor to come with us, so if you say you’re a doctor; that’s great. You’ll just have to come with us,” he beckoned.
“Bullshit! You don’t have any goddamn right to order me around against my wish!” she spat the words at him. “This place is not a treasure house or brothel, so I advise you to take your men with you out of here before I raise an alarm!”
Reo was completely taken aback by the bravery this American exhibited. There was something in her voice that deciphered she had spent most of her life ordering men like him around. She had this air of authority that actually pissed him off. Infuriated, he turned to his two men by the door.
“Get the security…now!” he barked, and the two bulldozed out of the room, leaving Ella and her colleagues at the mercy of Reo and his other three armed counterparts.
Slowly, Reo moved his gaze back to Ella, the corner of his mouth twitched up in a sardonic smile. Then he began to stride towards her with menacing steps, his both hands now buried in his pockets.
Ella maintained her grounds, not even a single step backward. Out of the corner of her eyes, she caught sight of One Eye disappearing into the children ward. She frowned, but quickly turned her attention back to Reo.
“You,” Reo started, “-you this stubborn American seem to forget that this place is Africa, Egypt precisely and not America,” he gnashed the air in fury and leaned forward towards her left ear, “You are a long way from home, baby.”
A cold shiver hit Ella but she fought hard within herself to appear relaxed, to avoid being in a frazzled state of mind, nevertheless Reo saw her face go pale and simpered. He pulled out a hand gun from a leather strap fastened to his belt and c****d it. Terror clawed through Ella’s heart. Her eyes widened even more at seeing the two men who had gone out some minutes ago reappear with one of the hospital’s security, a man in his late-forties.
“Are you coming with us, doc?” Reo asked, shuffling to the security whom his two men had his hands caged backward.
“No, I’m not coming. How can you barge into a–”
Before she could complete that sentence, Reo muttered; “I know you’ll make this difficult.” And turning to the security, he fired on the man’s leg and he slumped down to the floor with a deep groan.
The grounds moved below Ella.
“Why the hell did you do that?!” she cried amidst the wails of her colleagues and to add salt to injury, One Eye reappeared grasping a patient from the children ward; a three year old boy. He shoved the boy to Reo who quickly held his gun to the boy’s small head.
“Did you say a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ doc?” Reo taunted.
“No! I mean yes, yes. I’m coming with you. Don’t you hurt the boy or anybody again, p-plea-se!”
“Of course, we won’t hurt him or anybody else if you follow us now!” he yelled.
She nodded vigorously, “Alright, I’ll come with you right away.”
“You’re only allowed to grab your medical kits under my supervision.”
Swallowing hard, Ella nodded in affirmation and spun on her heels for her office where she began to pack her medical stuffs into her kits’ bag.
“I’m done,” she notified Reo who stood by the doorway.
“Let’s go,” he motioned, and trailed after her till they were downstairs again with the others.
“Okay, let’s move it boys!” Reo called out with a clap and his men began to exit the building in obedience. Then he walked back to the receptionist and raised an index finger to her trembling face.
“If anyone raises an alarm, consider your beautiful Miss Doctor dead. And, I won’t hesitate to haunt you all down, one by one!” he threatened, and took away with them the American the same minute.